The Truck Industry Council (TIC) has renewed its call for a younger national truck fleet following the latest scrutiny of the nation’s truck safety.
The group wants action taken to reduce the increasing average age of the truck fleet in Australia and their recent calls have been backed by Toll MD Michael Byrne.
They have called on the federal government to offer Australian truck operators incentives to invest in a newer fleet which they say will be more safe and sustainable.
The scrutiny of the trucking industry comes after the spike in fatal truck crashes on Australian roads and in particular in NSW which saw an 86 per cent increase in road fatalities in 2017.
One of those expressing dismay at the figures was Phil Taylor, TIC president chief operating officer of Isuzu Trucks. He called for government to accommodate the modernisation of the nation’s truck fleet in the 2018/2019 federal budget.
“Increasing the take-up rate of today’s more advanced trucks means everyone benefits from our roads being populated with safer fleets,”
“Having been around trucks and the Australian road transport industry since the late seventies, I can verify that significant improvements have been made in regard to truck and road safety.
“We must push towards zero deaths on our roads, truck related or otherwise, and as an industry collective, we must believe we can achieve that.” he said.
Last year the average age of the Australia truck fleet was 14.9 years, prompting the TIC to call on government to support operators upgrade their aging fleets to ensure a higher safety standard.
It takes into consideration that many of the safety technologies which come standard on trucks in 2017 are missing from 42 per cent of the nation’s fleet which were manufactured prior to 2003.
Mr Taylor stressed the importance of having the most modern fleets possible to create a safer and more productive road transport industry. He also urged people to remember that ultimately safety would ensure that no more people lose their lives in preventable road crashes.
“The choice is not whether Australia uses trucks – they’re essential to our standard of living – the choice is whether we have the most modern fleets possible,” Taylor says.
“Australia can have safer trucks on the road, or we can continue with an older fleet.
“TIC believes the implementation of an incentivised system, which rewards safe and modern fleets, is the most proactive and cost-effective mechanism for lowering Australia’s road toll